Arizona Cardinals could consider upgrade at right guard spot
Free agent guard Brandon Scherff would be an outstanding addition to the right side of the Arizona Cardinals offensive line
For many years now, the Arizona Cardinals have been searching for that perfect combination of offensive linemen. The club’s blocking unit did an adequate job in 2019, but there’s room for improvement. In fact, there’s a right guard who’s preparing to enter free agency who’d instantly upgrade that area of the Cards scoring attack.
Brandon Scherff, the fifth-overall pick of the 2015 draft, may very well be the best of this year’s free agent blockers. After five campaigns with the Washington Redskins, the 28-year old could be eyeing an exit from the nation’s capital. Scherff has not yet been linked with any other teams, but one would have to think that Arizona would jump at the chance of acquiring the stud lineman.
Just one year ago, Cardinals general manager Steve Keim signed J.R. Sweezy to fill the squad’s vacant right guard opening. The scrappy veteran held his own through most of ’19, but he’s certainly not on Scherff’s level. There’s one season remaining on Sweezy’s contract, but it would be relatively painless for the Cards to move on if they wish to.
According to Spotrac.com, Sweezy is set to earn a base salary of $3.5 million this coming fall. Along with that number comes a fairly significant salary-cap hit of $5.5 million. Parting ways with Sweezy, however, would leave Arizona with just $1.5 million of dead cap money.
Scherff, on the other hand, could be on the verge of becoming the highest paid guard in the NFL. It’s been reported that the 6’5, 315 pounder has already turned down an offer from Washington that would’ve paid him $13 million annually. Of course, the possibility exists that the Redskins could elect to apply the franchise tag to Scherff, which would essentially take him off of the market.
The University of Iowa product has been invited to three Pro Bowls (2016, 2017, 2019) during his five campaigns as a professional. Back in 2015, Scherff was named to the PFWA All-Rookie Team. The former Iowa Hawkeye was an offensive tackle in college, but Washington’s decision to play Scherff at guard has obviously paid off
.Landing such a coveted player would be a tremendous feather in the cap of the Cardinals front office. Keim has found success with free agent offensive lineman in the past (Eric Winston, Jared Veldheer, Mike Iupati, Justin Pugh), and Scherff appears to be a can’t-miss proposition. Cards offensive line coach Sean Kugler would likely be a happy camper if Keim can find a way to get it done.